SPHERES MOSR Rendezvous and Docking with the OS (RDOS)
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Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive, Manassas, VA, 20110-2702
AbstractNASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission involves many challenging operations. One of the highest-risk operations is the guidance of the Orbiting Sample (OS) into the capture mechanism on the MSR Orbiter/Earth Return Vehicle (ERV). Aurora Flight Sciences, and its research partner the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory (SSL), propose to adapt and augment the Synchronized Position Hold Engage Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) Mars Orbiting Sample Retrieval MOSR testbed to incorporate optically-guided rendezvous and docking with the OS (RDOS). This additional functionality will extend the MOSR testbed's existing capabilities to further support MSR rendezvous and capture algorithm development. With these new capabilities, the MOSR RDOS system would extend the utility of the MOSR testbed from the "last meter" problemfocusing largely on the contact dynamics between the OS and the capture mechanism , but not addressing GN&Cto the "last several meters", which involve significant time-critical maneuvers by the chaser in order to ensure that the OS is captured and, most importantly, that the contact dynamics between OS and capture mechanism neither cause the OS to become dislodged from the capture mechanism nor cause any structural damage to the OS itself.
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